States adopting cops?

Shouldn’t that be cops or police or policemen  in the his headline on Yahoo! Sports’ “Prep Rally”?

polices sports pr

Before adopting police, the states might consider adopting some policies regarding what the heck they’ll do with adopted cops.


‘Tis ’tis, ’tain’t tis’

Most people know a little something about the apostrophe. They know the apostrophe’s uses include showing possession. They know it’s also used in something called contractions — not the kind involving birthin’ babies. The kind that involves removing a letter or two from a word or words, like isn’t, we’ve, and they’re. The apostrophe shows where there’s a letter or two gone missin’. It’s helpful to your readers, except if you put it in the wrong place:

tis apost sports pr

I gotta give the writer for Yahoo! Sports’ “Prep Rally” credit for at least tryin’. But the contraction he’s looking for is ’tis — a contraction for it is.

That doesn’t make we smile

We don’t smile when we read something like this on Yahoo! Sports‘ “Prep Rally”:

make we sports pr

What makes us at Terribly Write smile every time is correct pronoun use.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens’ what?

If I were more interested in the subject matter, I might read the article below this intriguing headline on Yahoo! Sports‘ “Prep Rally” just to see what the heck it means:

an an sports

But I am not inspired. Maybe someone out there can tell me why there’s an apostrophe after Brad Stevens and what an an means.

No bones about it

I’m gonna make no bones about my opinion of this excerpt from Yahoo! Sports‘ “Prep Rally”: It sucks.

vertebrae sports pr

The writer clearly doesn’t know that vertebrae is the plural of vertebra. As far as I know, human beings have only one seventh vertebra, not multiple seventh vertebrae.

The wrong effect

Using the wrong word can have a negative effect on your readers. Using the verb affect when the noun effect is called for can affect your credibility. It makes me wonder who could respect the writer for Yahoo! Sports‘ “Prep Rally” after reading this:

an affect

I coulda died laughin’

I nearly spit out my sugar-free vanilla nonfat vendi latte when I read this on Yahoo! Sports‘ “Prep Rally”:

die sports pr 1

Just to prove it wasn’t a careless mistake, the writer makes it again:

die sports pr 2

That’s when I thought I would die laughing.

Here’s a freebie

Here’s a freebie for the writer of Yahoo! Sports’ “Prep Rally”: Try using a spell-checker. Or a dictionary. Or just ask a colleague with basic knowledge of English. You might avoid embarrassing misspellings like this one:

free-be sports pr

Neither word is correct

OK, I don’t know how a professional writer doesn’t know that the partner of neither is nor, not or. But apparently this guy from Yahoo! Sports‘ “Prep Rally” doesn’t know that:

neither or sports pr

So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see that he also doesn’t know that the verb think should be thinks, since it should agree with mother. (When two nouns are joined by neither… nor to form a subject, the verb must agree with the noun closer to it.)

It’s still not a pep rally

The writer for Yahoo! Sports‘ “Prep Rally” is still deeply self-absorbed. So self-absorbed that he just can’t accept that a high school morale booster isn’t named for his column:

prep rally

It’s not. It’s called a pep rally and if you don’t know that perhaps you shouldn’t be writing about high school sports.

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